World Football

Power Ranking the Week's 20 Hottest Transfer Rumours: Sergio Aguero to Barca?

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentMay 8, 2014

Power Ranking the Week's 20 Hottest Transfer Rumours: Sergio Aguero to Barca?

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    Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

    Bleacher Report presents a power ranking of the 20 hottest transfer rumours, news and signings.

    So, how will these 20 transfer window rumours be ranked? The rumours will be ranked according to name recognition.

    The less identifiable the rumoured player is, the lower the rumour will be ranked and vice versa.

20. Adama Traore

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    Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

    When Adama Traore's representatives start contacting European clubs about his availability, hopefully the initial impressions of teams around Europe won't be: "Oh my goodness, we're in talks with Barcelona young gun Adama Traore!"

    The Adama Traore Australians are more familiar with is a free agent. 

    He exercised his right to a free transfer by running down his contract at Melbourne Victory.

    Despite being offered "well above the $180,000-a-year" to stay at Victory, per David Davutovic at the Herald Sun, Traore believes he is ready to play in Europe. 

    "I'd like to thank [Victory manager] Kevin [Muscat], my teammates and all the staff at the club for everything they have done for me," Traore said, per Football Federation Australia's official website. "The opportunity to play in Europe is too good for me to pass up." 

    Traore is a 24-year-old Ivorian left-back with an Australian passport who lit the A-League up with his dazzling runs. 

    He is a high-character footballer, who works hard and would flourish in an end-to-end league such as the Eredivisie. 

19. Will Keane

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    Manchester United prospect Will Keane is thinking about an ambitious transfer to the Serie A with Fiorentina and Juventus tracking his progress, per Simon Jones at the Daily Mail

    Instead of moving to a big Serie A club, Keane should consider a modest Italian team that is willing to give him an extended run in the first team. 

    Ciro Immobile (Torino) and Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo) have had breakout campaigns because their respective clubs trusted them. 

    If Keane did move to Italy, there would be some parallels with Jay Bothroyd, who signed with Perugia in 2003. 

    • Bothroyd had played in the academy of a major Premier League club (Arsenal).
    • He was 21 years of age, like Keane. 
    • Bothroyd's Coventry City adventure ended after "being told he was surplus to requirements by [then] boss Gary McAllister," per BBC Sport
    • Keane is expendable at United, so he may want to start afresh. 

    Keane has split this season with two unsuccessful loan spells at Wigan Athletic and Queens Park Rangers.

    He has yet to score a goal in 14 combined Championship games this season. 

     

18. Emmanuel Frimpong

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    Emmanuel Frimpong, a former Arsenal academy player, is looking for employment after being released from Barnsley, per the club's official website

    Frimpong, a Ghanaian international, committed more fouls (17) than tackles (16) for Barnsley, a team that suffered relegation to League One. 

    The issue with Frimpong is his dedication. 

    Does he want to put in the hard yards to continue developing as a footballer? 

    Or, is he content with playing football on the side while dabbling in entertainment? 

    He is a social media star with around 736,000 Twitter followers and his most recent FIFA 14 face-off helped YouTube giant/emerging rapper KSI gain another 1.6 million-plus views. 

    Frimpong is also involved with artist Lethal Bizzle in the Stay Dench clothing range.  

    Frimpong will find out quickly the entertainment world is more cut-throat and emotionally taxing than running around and kicking a ball for 90 minutes. 

    His specialty is football and he should go back to his roots. 

    A change of environment will help Frimpong.

    In the near distant future, could someone be getting "Frimponged" in the A-League or Major League Soccer? 

17. David Marshall and 16. Steven Caulker

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    Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

    Tottenham Hotspur want to sign Cardiff City pair David Marshall and Steven Caulker, per Andrew Gwilym at the Mirror

    These signings would be Tim Sherwood-esque. 

    However, since Sherwood's managerial reign is under threat, per Gerry Cox at the Telegraph, Spurs may not end up signing Marshall or Caulker.

    Caulker is excellent when it comes to blocking shots and Marshall made a plethora of world-class saves during the season. 

    With Cardiff relegated to the Championship, the Bluebirds face a struggle to keep their best players. 

15. Gary Medel

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    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Besiktas will take advantage of Cardiff City's relegation to the Championship by poaching Gary Medel, per talkSPORT

    Cardiff want to bounce back immediately by getting promoted back into the Premier League next season, so the Bluebirds need players who are 100 percent committed. 

    If Medel wants to play at a higher level, then Cardiff need to sell him to the highest bidder, rather than keep an unhappy player. 

14. Andros Townsend

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Tottenham Hotspur right attacking midfielder Andros Townsend is a Newcastle United summer transfer target, per Mark Douglas at the Journal

    With Hatem Ben Arfa losing his starting position at Newcastle, Moussa Sissoko has been playing on the right. 

    Townsend is Ben Arfa-like in terms of inconsistency, so moving to Newcastle is not a great idea. 

     

     

13. Ravel Morrison

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    Clive Rose/Getty Images

    West Ham United's Queens Park Rangers loanee Ravel Morrison has ended speculation of a summer transfer move away from West Ham after tweeting "be back next season" upon receiving West Ham's goal-of-the-season award. 

    Morrison's tweet is consistent with him saying his relationship with West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is salvageable, per Sky Sports.

    So if Allardyce stays on as West Ham manager, Morrison will be back in the squad. 

    Talent is not the issue here.

    It is his attitude which has cost him a James Wilson-esque debut for Manchester United and forced a detour to QPR. 

12. Lars Bender

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    Alvaro Barrientos/Associated Press

    Bayer Leverkusen central midfielder Lars Bender has reiterated his loyalty to the club after mounting speculation of a potential summer transfer window move to Arsenal.

    "I signed my new contract until 2019 and that should have told everyone how happy I am at Leverkusen," Bender said, per Massimo Marioni at the Metro. "If I am to be completely honest, I haven't had a brilliant season and don't feel ready yet to take on a pivotal role at a big club somewhere else."

    Bender is selling himself short since he has made 105 tackles and is a vital member of Leverkusen's midfield. 

    Clearly, he is setting a high bar for himself and it will stand him in good stead moving forward. 

     

     

11. Cristian Tello

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    Liverpool are planning to sign Barcelona super-sub Cristian Tello in the summer transfer window, per the Metro

    Tello offers blazing speed, but his decision-making at times leaves a lot to be desired. 

    Speed is redundant if you cannot consistently cash in either scoring or creating a goal, a la Victor Moses. 

     

     

10. Adel Taarabt

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    Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani revealed the club will wait until "May 31 to decide whether to" extend the contract of Queens Park Rangers loanee Adel Taarabt, per Football Italia

    Taarabt has shown flashes of world-class skill at Milan, like his goal against Napoli, so QPR would be within their right to inflate Taarabt's transfer stock. 

    Should that happen, it could sink Taarabt's proposed permanent transfer to Milan. 

9. Fabricio Coloccini

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    Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

    Newcastle United centre-back Fabricio Coloccini's desire to move back home to Argentina has dissipated and he will commit another season to the club. 

    "You have to decide between the problems and work. Sometimes it's too difficult," Coloccini said, per Miles Starforth at the Shields Gazette. "Now it's finished and next season I will be here."

    Coloccini is a low-risk defender having only committed six fouls the entire season. 

     

8. John Obi Mikel

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    BRANIMIR KVARTUC/Associated Press

    Inter Milan will offer Chelsea holding midfielder John Obi Mikel an exit route, per Darren Witcoop and Neil McLeman at the Mirror.

    Mikel has played more games off the bench (13) than as a starter in the Premier League this season. 

    To see him go from a playmaker with world-class upside to a dull, lifeless and limited holding midfielder at Chelsea is disappointing.

    Sure, he shows glimpses of magic from time to time for the Nigerian national team, but you can make a case that he has not improved as a footballer since starring at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship.

     

7. Sami Khedira

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    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

    Chelsea are prepared to sign Real Madrid central midfielder Sami Khedira, per the Metro

    Signing Khedira blind after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament would be a foolhardy decision from Blues management. 

    There are two issues.

    1. Is he fine being a squad player? 
    2. What if his body continues to break down? 

    There are a plethora of alternative options if Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho wants another "kind of player ready to sacrifice himself 100 percent for the team," per Miguel Delaney at ESPN FC

     

6. Shinji Kagawa

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    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Shinji Kagawa's agent Thomas Kroth has shot down rumours of his client's proposed move to Napoli.

    "Has [Napoli manager Rafa] Benitez made contact with Kagawa? These are just rumours," Kroth said, per UltimeCalcioNapoli.it (h/t Edwin Chong at Sky Sports). "He [Kagawa] is not unhappy at Manchester United, so there's no reason to talk about him departing to another club."

    The most incredulous statement from Kroth is his client being content. 

    Kagawa is happy being a nonentity for United and seeing his career decline? Really? 

    Perhaps, Kroth is alluding to Kagawa clinging onto hope under player-manager Ryan Giggs. 

5. Bacary Sagna

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Arsenal's unwillingness to heed to right-back Bacary Sagna's contractual demands could pave a move to Fenerbahce, per James Olley at the London Evening Standard.

    In the past, Fenerbahce have thrown money to lure players away from a major league such as: 

    • Milos Krasic (2012; Juventus)
    • Moussa Sow (2012; Lille)
    • Daniel Guiza (2008; Real Mallorca)
    • Mateja Kezman (2006; Atletico Madrid)
    • Nicolas Anelka (2005; Manchester City)
    • Stephen Appiah (2005; Juventus)

    Unless Fenerbahce offer him obscenely inflated wages, you would think Sagna would choose a major European club. 

     

     

4. Javi Martinez

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Arsenal want to sign Bayern Munich centre-back/defensive midfielder Javi Martinez, per Jeremy Wilson at the Telegraph

    Good signs if you are a Gooner since Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is being proactive, as opposed to leaving everything to the last week of the transfer window. 

    The only problem with Martinez wanting out because he does not want to play centre-back is Bayern spent £31.6/€40 million on him based on his displays at centre-back. 

    Martinez started 22 La Liga games at centre-back during his last season at Athletic Bilbao, so it is not like he is averse to playing the position. 

    He may not prefer it, but for that to be the primary reason of him wanting to leave seems incredulous.

3. Ashley Cole

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    Liverpool have Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole on a long list of possible left-back signings, per James Dickenson at the Daily Express

    Cole's emotional breakdown after being saluted by Chelsea supporters suggests he will be moving on in the summer. 

    Unless he takes a substantial salary cut, it would be a surprise for Liverpool to sign Cole.

    Well, what about Kolo Toure?

    He is a natural leader, a team-first player, who will support his teammates even if it means less playing time for him. 

    Whereas, Cole has only ever cared about his own situation. 

2. Thomas Muller

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    Gero Breloer/Associated Press

    Bayern Munich right winger Thomas Muller has quashed rumours of an imminent move away in the upcoming summer transfer window. 

    "I didn't make these rumours up myself, so I don't particularly want to comment on them too much," Muller said, per Kronen Zeitung (h/t Kit Holden at the Daily Mail). "But I'm definitely not about to jump ship at Bayern."

    Muller has recorded another elite season scoring 13 times and registering 10 assists in 30 Bundesliga games.

     

1. Sergio Aguero

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    Barcelona deep-lying forward Lionel Messi is demanding the club sign his compatriot Sergio Aguero from Manchester City, per TV3 (h/t Rik Sharma at the Daily Mail). 

    Why would Barca risk signing Aguero?

    He is turning into Alexandre Pato.

    Aguero cannot sustain his explosive style of play.

    He will either start playing within himself which could lead to a dip in attacking productivity, or he will continue to get injured. 

    Just an observation: There have been so many negative stories about Messi being high maintenance in the past year or so. 

    There are two takeaways. 

    1. The media are reporting the truth. 
    2. It is false and the media are running with this new narrative which is atypical: Build up an athlete into a "can do no wrong" figure and then tear that person down. 

    The notion of Messi walking into the Barca board room and saying: "Sign Aguero!" is not that far-fetched.

    Wayne Rooney asked Manchester United to sign Mesut Ozil in 2010.

    It was rebuffed which led to a confrontation with then-manager Sir Alex Ferguson, per Owen Gibson at the Guardian

     

    @allanjianga

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